A widely respected neuroscientist, Jean King joined the WPI community as the Peterson Family Dean of Arts and Sciences in 2017. In addition to her duties as dean, she is a professor in the Department of Biology and Biotechnology.
Dr. King’s research uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify and monitor neuronal plasticity associated with addiction, ADHD, depression, fearfulness, anxiety, autism and neurological disorders (PD and TBI) in animal models with the hope of finding clues to help us understand these conditions in humans. In recent years, her laboratory has shifted to a more translational approach and incorporated a clinical research component to most of its animal studies. The long-term goal of Dr. King’s research is to provide an understanding of the unique features of central mechanisms that regulate emotion and cognition in both resilient and vulnerable populations.
Dr. King has published over 60 original scientific papers in highly respected international scientific journals, over 10 chapters in books and review articles in major neurophysiology journals, and is an editor of New York Academy of Sciences Publication-Roots of Mental Illness in Children. She has been a scientific consultant for the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health as well as the Veterans Administration. Prior to joining WPI, she was vice provost for biomedical research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; a tenured professor of psychiatry, radiology, and neurology; and director of the university’s Center for Comparative Neuroimaging.
Worcester News Tonight aired a story about a new mural at WPI created by internationally renowned graffiti artist Panmela Castro. Castro’s painting, which was done on a wall in Salisbury Labs, features Abby Kelley Foster, a 19th century women’s rights activist from Worcester. The work was done in celebration of Arts and Sciences week at WPI.
Diversity in Action magazine highlighted WPI's new Master of Science program in Neuroscience, which was spearheaded and instituted by Jean King, Peterson Family dean of Arts and Sciences. "The program will provide students with a strong foundation in computational, molecular, psychological, quantitative and interdisciplinary approaches to neuroscience, and is 'just a good blend of all the things that we do readily already, and where neuroscience as a field is emerging and where it is going,'" King said.